Crooked cop gets 18 months; says he ripped off drug dealers so he could see his kids
BY KIM JANSSEN Federal Courts Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org October 26, 2012 12:10PM
Two Chicago cops stole $5,200 cash that they thought belonged to a drug dealer but were actually caught by an undercover FBI sting, federal authorities charged Monday. Officer Kallatt Mohammed tried to avoid being photographed as he left the Dirksen Federal Building. He hid from cameras in a Lady Foot Locker store on State St. but then ran from the store. Undercover police saw him running and stopped him and placed him against their car and then released him. | Rich Hein~Sun-Times
Updated: November 28, 2012 6:08AM
A crooked Chicago cop who shook down drug dealers was sentenced to 18 months behind bars Friday after a federal judge dressed him down for violating the trust of people in the neighborhood he was supposed to protect.
U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman told former Officer Kallatt Mohammed that he had committed “an outrageous offense” that was all the worse because it affected poor residents of the Ida B. Wells housing projects, people who had “already suffered enough.”
Mohammed, 47, pleaded guilty earlier this year to stealing $5,200 in cash that he believed belonged to a drug dealer. The homeless man he took the bagful of money from on Nov. 21 last year was an FBI informant, evidence showed.
Addressing the judge Friday, the former tactical officer apologized for his crimes, which he said he committed under the direction of his sergeant, Ronald Watts.
Watts wouldn’t give him leave to visit his children in Ohio unless he went along with the scheme, Mohammed said, acknowledging, “I could have left the unit.”
“Sgt. Watts used me,” he said. “At no point in this job did I go in to do anything that was not right . . . the only reason was to see my kids”
But Coleman told him that residents of the Bronzeville housing projects would have seen that he and other Chicago cops were working with the drug dealers.
The fact that it was “not only a police officer but an African-American police officer who violated that trust is very upsetting to me,” she said.
“Maybe [you thought] these people just don’t deserve your care, maybe they were just ‘throwaways’ — I don’t know,” she added.
“You betrayed your badge, you betrayed your community — maybe not to the extent of your co-defendant, but you did.”
Despite the berating Coleman gave Mohammed, the 18-month sentence she handed him was below the 24-30 month sentencing guidelines. She said the support of Mohammed’s family and his lack of prior convictions counted in his favor.
Watts, who continues to deny orchestrating the scheme, has yet to stand trial.